Welcome to the Immigration Detention Standards Navigator!

Any person deprived of their liberty for whatever reason and regardless of status is entitled to:

  • feel safe
  • be treated with respect and dignity, and
  • be engaged in meaningful activities.

Any person deprived of their liberty is also entitled to challenge the decision to detain if they think their detention is unlawful or arbitrary.

Immigration detainees are no exception.

What is the Immigration Detention Standards Navigator?

The Immigration Detention Standards Navigator is a free, dynamic and easy way to search and navigate the international detention standards and best practices that apply to immigration detainees.

More than 550 key indicators spanning 45 categories describe the treatment and conditions that immigration detainees are entitled to expect in a place of immigration detention.

Click on each key indicator to find references and links to some 45 instruments and guidelines they are based on, pinpointing the specific provisions and relevant text.

Why an Immigration Detention Standards Navigator?

In 2020, we conducted a survey on the impact of COVID-19 on immigration detainees and many of our respondents told us that they wanted to know more about detainee rights and international standards and best practice.  In response, we have developed the Immigration Detention Standards Navigator.

The Immigration Detention Standards Navigator is designed to give you a simple, accessible way of finding out what you should expect to see in a place of immigration detention.

Who is the Immigration Detention Standards Navigator for?

We hope the Immigration Detention Standards Navigator will be useful for:

  • Civil society organisations
  • Friends and family of immigration detainees
  • Government officials
  • Immigration detainees
  • Inter-governmental organisations (eg, IOM, OHCHR, UNHCR and UNICEF)
  • National Human Rights Institutions
  • Parliamentarians
  • Pastoral care workers
  • Professional visitors to places of immigration detention
  • Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • Volunteer visitor groups

Tips for users

When using the Immigration Detention Standards Navigator, you can tailor your search in different ways:

  1. Search for keywords across all categories 
  2. Search for keywords and then narrow your search to a particular category
  3. Select your category to see all relevant key indicators
  4. Don’t forget to RESET before you do your next search!

To access the applicable standards, click on the key indicator:

  • Scroll down to see all the standards that support the key indicator 
  • Click on the instrument/guideline abbreviation to 
    • go through to the full document (external links)
    • explore the range of standards that the key indicators draw on

COVID-19 and the Immigration Detention Standards Navigator

The COVID-19 global pandemic has shone a new and bright light on an existing systemic problem: the vulnerability of people in immigration detention and other closed environments.  COVID-19 has highlighted why poor sanitation and hygiene, chronic overcrowding and the impossibility of social distancing make places of immigration detention especially dangerous hotspots for the spread of contagious diseases.  The Immigration Detention Standards Navigator enables you to identify COVID-relevant key indicators that, as you will see, also have broader application.  

To find COVID-relevant key indicators, you can either check the  😷 COVID search button or look for this symbol under each indicator: 😷 COVID

What about regional standards?

Please note that the current focus of this platform is on international standards.  Some of those standards are binding.  Others are non-binding. At this stage, we have not focused on regional standards.  If you would like to see regional standards included in this tool, please get in touch with us: [email protected]

Have any feedback?

Please tell us!  We welcome your feedback because it will help us to improve the navigation experience and tailor it to your needs. 

Please email us: [email protected]

Open the Navigator